What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft’s recently announced that it would eventually be replacing Skype for Business with Microsoft Teams. This announcement is not the same as the rebranding of Lync to Skype for Business that we saw in 2015; this is a new product replacing Skype for Business. Microsoft at its recent ignite conference has laid out the roadmap for the future of Skype for Business and Teams.
Organizations deploying Office 365 today have a very important decision to make: do you deploy what has all the features and functions today with Skype for Business but will eventually be phased out? Or do we future-proof ourselves and avoid an inevitable future migration to Teams?
The first step in making this decision is deciding what features and functions are a must have for your organization. Here is a comparison matrix of features.
Microsoft Teams Vs Skype for Business
As you can see, Teams is missing many of the telephony features of Skype for Business. Microsoft has released a roadmap for these features to be implemented with all of them scheduled to be completed by Q4 2018. Teams in its current state is essentially a one-to-one unified communication tool. All screen sharing, video chat, and voice calls are only one-to-one. To have multiple parties you must schedule a Teams Meeting, but outside parties are unable to join this call at this time.
The only area where Teams shines over Skype for Business is the persistent chat and third-party apps integration. This function is the sole advantage Teams has over Skype for Business. You can integrate apps, files, and meetings directly into the group chat of a given Team allowing for many forms of collaboration. Companies who use Teams find that they no longer send internal emails as all internal conversations happen within Team groups and they have multiple collaborative tools at their disposal. Whether it’s project management apps, SharePoint, office apps, websites, wikis, or forms, the possibilities are vast for its applications in the workplace.
Here’s Our Conclusion
In our testing here at TecFac, we find that Teams in its current state is not ready for enterprise roll out. It has some great features, but it’s missing too many core components of a unified communications platform for us to find it useful. If you are an IT decision maker deploying Office 365, stick with Skype for Business and let Microsoft complete its roadmap for Teams through 2018 before deciding. Even if you end up having to transition to Teams a year or two later, your users won’t have a giant learning curve to deal when the time comes.